Building Capacity in Science, Technology and Innovation for Africa's Transformation: The role of Private Sector

The call to industrialize and modernize Africa has become popular in recent years, and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the Common African Position on Agenda 2030 identify science, technology and innovation (STI)1 as key enablers. Many African countries fail to achieve their development targets partly as a result of underdeveloped and underused science and technology as well as limited invention and innovation by both the private and the public sectors. For most African countries, the major proportion of domestic contribution to research and development (R&D) activities is provided by the government, with little from the private sector. Africa has made some improvement in developing STI capacity at all levels, though progress is limited by capacity challenges. The capacity challenges at national, regional and international levels revolve around STI training and development, knowledge production, and technological innovation. Thus, partnerships (especially private-public) become important interventions. The private sector has a critical role in building Africa’s capacity in science, technology, and innovation. So it must be committed to taking the responsibility (together with governments) for investing in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering to boost the skills base of human capital that can innovate and apply scientific methods